Best Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing in New York

This list represents the most popular flatwater kayaking & canoeing in New York. Use this list to plan your next New York flatwater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Raquette River


Long-distance paddlers can paddle from Long Lake, carrying around Raquette Falls, taking out at either access, or continuing through Stony Ponds to Upper Saranac Lake. The Raquette (“rocket”), second…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Harrietstown, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#2. Carmans River


Carmans River and its surrounding marsh represent one of the last undeveloped estuaries on Long Island. The wildest and most pristine of the island’s four major rivers—the others are Nissequogue, Conn…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Brookhaven, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing, Hiking - 4.5 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#3. Burnt Ship & Woods Creek


Buckhorn Island State Park sits at the northwest point of Grand Island. It’s an island by virtue of narrow streams called Burnt Ship Creek and Woods Creek, which bisect this 895 acres of marsh, meadow…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Western New York"
Grand Island, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 2.8 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#4. Susquehanna River


From modest beginnings in Otsego Lake—the famed “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper—the Susquehanna River meanders quietly southward, gathering hundreds of feeder streams and rivers along the way.…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Milford, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#5. Tully Lake


As the last of the great glaciers (the Wisconsin Glacier) retreated from Central New York, it paused near what is today the village of Tully and deposited a ridge of sand, gravel and till called the V…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Finger Lakes, NY"
Preble, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 5.2 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#6. Black Creek (Chili)


You have several options for paddling this area. Launch and/or take-out into either Little Black Creek or Black Creek. There is current in the Genesee River, but it’s easy to paddle upstream (and a fa…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Western New York"
Chili, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 16 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#7. Harriman State Park Lakes


Situated just north of the New Jersey border and only about 45 minutes from New York City, the lakes of Harriman State Park provided a remarkable surprise with fine paddling close to the city. It take…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Tuxedo Park, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#8. Buffalo River Urban Canoe Trail (West Seneca to Buffalo)


Paddling this waterway gives you a perspective on development that can only be seen from water level. As you paddle toward Buffalo, you’ll pass through three sections designated the Natural River, the…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Western New York"
West Seneca, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 6.5 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#9. Irondequoit Creek (Ellison Park to Irondequoit Bay)


You have two options for paddling Irondequoit Creek. One is to start in Ellison Park (or upstream from behind Panorama Plaza in Penfield) and paddle downstream to Irondequoit Bay as described below. T…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Western New York"
Penfield, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4.5 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#10. Canopus Lake and Stillwater Pond


Canopus Lake, within Clarence Fahnestock State Park, offers a wonderful paddling opportunity, especially in the off-season. Although the park prohibits gasoline motors, believe it or not, it can get o…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Kent, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#11. Deer Creek Marsh


Deer Creek meanders through one of the extensive marshes that line the shores of eastern Lake Ontario. Fortunately, many of these marshes have protection from development by inclusion in six state par…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Richland, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#12. Constitution Marsh


Constitution Marsh, owned by the National Audubon Society, provides a wonderful location to take children to learn about nature, including forests, streams, and tidal marshes. Three nature trails weav…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Cold Spring, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing, Hiking - 13 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#13. Oswegatchie River


The remarkable Oswegatchie River upstream (right) from Inlet, an extraordinary canoe wilderness, drains the high country of the Five Ponds Wilderness Area. This is one of the few places in the Adirond…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Fine, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 26 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#14. East Branch Tioughnioga River (Cuyler to Cortland)


The Tioughnioga (pronounced tie-uff-nee-oh-ga) River forms from two main branches—the East and West before reaching the Susquehanna River. The East Branch Tioughnioga River flows through a wide valley…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Finger Lakes, NY"
Cuyler, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 19.9 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#15. Bond Lake


Bond Lake is a fun paddle on a pristine lake, but the Meyers Lakes are especially scenic, with irregular shorelines cradled by trees that shelter a paddler from winds. It’s easy to portage from one la…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Western New York"
Lewiston, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 2 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#16. Dryden Lake


120-acre Dryden Lake is surrounded by Dryden Lake Park, replete with picnic areas, pavilions, a playground, restrooms, and fishing/observation platforms. It also sits at the midpoint of the 4-mile-lon…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Finger Lakes, NY"
Dryden, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 1.6 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#17. Cliff Lake


Cliff Lake and the surrounding upland belong to Mirant, but the company allows public access from May 1 though the end of November. We love paddling on this out-of-the-way lake, as it receives little…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Bethel, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#18. Eighteenmile Creek (Burnt Dam to Olcott)


We were awed by this waterway. We put in expecting to see a channel lined by docks and boats. Instead, we found ourselves in a pristine valley where great blue herons swooped overhead and duckweed par…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Western New York"
Newfane, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 2 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#19. Chemung River (Elmira to the PA border)


Once you leave the busy Elmira area, you’ll be in rural landscapes, although I-86 is never far from shore. Waters from the Cohocton and Tioga Rivers merge at Corning to form the Chemung River. Downstr…
From the guidebook "Take a Paddle: Finger Lakes, NY"
Elmira, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 12.8 miles
Published by Footprint Press

#20. Flanders Bay Tributaries and Peconic River


Flanders Bay, large and dangerous on a windy day, offers several tributaries with superb paddling; we recommend three creeks: Hubbard, Mill, and Birch. Hubbard Creek’s islands, deep twisting coves, an…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water New York"
Riverhead, NY - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing, Hiking
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books